Tracking the Storm

Guy Behind the Guy: Soak it In

Sunday, 04.26.2009 / 12:01 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Mike Sundheim
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Guy Behind the Guy: Soak it In
Mike Sundheim
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If our two-year absence from the Stanley Cup playoffs taught me nothing else, I learned to enjoy every moment. I enjoy the every-day interactions between teammates and the sudden increase in crowd noise on a scoring chance. I store in my memory bank the sounds of fans at the airport at 1 a.m. and the buzz of the media in the locker room after a morning skate. In a series entirely too close for predictions, the only things I know for sure about today is that fans will start arriving in our parking lots when they open at 2:30 p.m., and that this building will be jam-packed and roaring when the puck drops at 7:30. Those facts alone are enough to make my arm hairs stand on end, let alone the possibility that we may witness something like what we saw at the end of Game 4 here.

So soak those moments in. Watch the cars with flags flying roll into the lots. Smell the barbecue cooking in the lots. Cheer a little kid doing his best Cam Ward impression in a street hockey game. I know I'll be out there at some point tonight, as Kyle and I make our pre-game rounds outside before every playoff game. I'll meet some friends, grab a brat and watch some people play cornhole. And then we'll wind our way back inside, through a maze of blaring stereos and tailgating chairs.

In the RBC Center, the crowd will cheer when warmups begin, and build to a crescendo as Steve Smith cranks the Hurricane Warning siren to welcome the Canes to the ice for the game. By the time Pete Soto's crew plays a certain song by Stryper right before the puck drop, a nationwide audience will be seeing the special atmosphere we enjoy this time of year around here.

We don't know whether we will still doing this in June or not, but we may as well enjoy every second of it along the way.

Media Alert: Along this same theme, the Star-Ledger in New Jersey included an article today about the development of our hockey market, with a special emphasis on the tailgating atmosphere.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72